PBS NewsHour to air three-part look at Fukushima disaster

Michelle Clancy | 28-02-2014

Three years after a massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami triggered meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, PBS NewsHour science correspondent Miles O'Brien has returned to Japan for an update on clean-up efforts and the continuing impact of the radioactive spill via three special TV presentations.

In Inside Fukushima, O'Brien reports on on-going efforts to contain radiation-tainted water that continues to leak from the plant into the sea and efforts to remove and secure the nuclear fuel from the disabled reactors. Covered head to toe in protective gear and wearing a respiration mask, he goes inside the plant to show viewers an inside look.

In Fish Fears, O'Brien examines the effects of the radioactive water that continues to leak from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the nearby harbour. Now the plume of radioactive water is reaching across the Pacific to the US West Coast, fuelling fears and speculation about the safety of Pacific fish. O'Brien speaks with marine scientists in both Japan and the US about the risks to sea life posed by the radioactive plume, and to what extent Americans who enjoy bluefin tuna from Japan should or should not be worried.

And finally, in the Future of Nuclear Power, O'Brien examines Japanese views on the energy source. Before the meltdown, Japan strongly embraced nuclear power. But three years later, there is not one nuclear plant generating power in the country. Utilities and the current government are anxious to get them re-started by the summer, but polls show that 80% of the Japanese people prefer they stay shut down forever.

The reports are part of PBS NewsHour's on-going coverage of science and technology. Videos, transcripts and information about PBS NewsHour science reports and its Science Wednesday feature can be found on the PBS NewsHour Science Page.